Discover the best places to visit in August, from beach destinations to far-flung escapes, with tips for sustainable travel 🤓
August brings some of the best weather for travel across the Northern Hemisphere, with summer in full swing. From enjoying the height of summer in Europe, to witnessing incredible wildlife spectacles in Africa, to exploring idyllic islands in the Southern Hemisphere, August offers tremendous variety for getaways.
With kids out of school, August is also an ideal time for a family vacation. However, it’s one of the most popular travel months in the Northern Hemisphere, so savvy travelers may want to avoid the biggest crowds by heading to shoulder season destinations in Europe or the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere.
Here are some of the best places to consider for an August 2024 vacation.
Best Places to Visit in August in Europe
The hiking, cycling and wildflowers are at their peak in the Berner Oberland and mountain villages like Gimmelwald. Or book an epic hut-to-hut hiking adventure across multiple Alpine passes. Switzerland brings idyllic weather in August with warm summer days perfect for enjoying the outdoor beauty of the Swiss Alps. Popular places to visit include:
- Jungfrau Region – Hike amongst breathtaking Alpine scenery, enjoy thrilling activities like paragliding or river rafting, and ride to the top of the peaks by train for panoramic views. Don’t miss celebrating Swiss National Day on August 1st.
- Zermatt – Take the cog railway to the top of the Matterhorn or enjoy the car-free mountain village atmosphere.
- Lake Geneva Region – Relax on the shores of this scenic lake and visit Lausanne’s excellent restaurants and museums.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
The stunning Amalfi Coast with its pastel cliffside villages and Mediterranean views offers an idyllic escape. Spend days at the beach, charter a boat, and discover picture-perfect towns like Positano and Ravello.
Croatia shines in August as one of the top beach destinations in Europe. With over 1,000 islands dotted along its Adriatic coastline, beach lovers are spoiled for choice. Top spots include:
- Dubrovnik – Wander the cobbled streets and ancient city walls of this UNESCO-listed coastal gem.
- Split – Discover Diocletian’s Palace and relax on some of Croatia’s best beaches nearby.
- Island of Korčula – Swim in the blue waters, explore pineapple-shaped towns, and soak up the island atmosphere.
Iceland brings completely unique landscapes from volcanic peaks to massive glaciers to cascading waterfalls. With nearly 24 hours of daylight in August, there’s plenty of time to explore Iceland’s natural wonders. Top sights include:
- Reykjavik – Explore the world’s northernmost capital, known for its vibrant music and art scene.
- Golden Circle – See thundering Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir’s erupting geysers, and the rift valley of Thingvellir National Park on this classic route.
- Blue Lagoon – Take a dip in the steamy, mineral-rich waters of this world-famous geothermal spa.
- Snaefellsnes Peninsula – Discover lava fields, cliffs, fishing villages, and volcanic craters on this scenic peninsula.
European Region of Gastronomy: La Rioja, Spain
La Rioja in northern Spain holds the 2024 European Region of Gastronomy title, making it a top pick for foodies. August brings ideal weather to explore the wineries, olive oil farms, and tapas trails of this Spanish region influenced by Basque and Mediterranean flavors. Don’t miss the food and wine festivals held in Logroño and other towns.
Best Places to Visit in August in Africa
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
August is prime time for witnessing one of Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacles – the annual Great Migration in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Over a million wildebeest and zebras cross crocodile-infested rivers in search of greener pastures. Witnessing the dramatic river crossings is a top highlight.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
South Africa’s vast Kruger National Park offers incredible diversity and density of wildlife. August falls during the drier winter season, making it excellent for viewing big game drawn to the remaining water sources. Spot the “Big Five” and over 500 species of birds.
The Seychelles archipelago, located off East Africa’s coast, offers remote island paradises surrounded by coral reefs and glittering lagoons. August sits outside the main rainy season for ideal beach weather and activities like world-class scuba diving, fishing, and island hopping by boat.
Best Places to Visit in August in Asia
Bali brings stunning beaches, lush jungle, rice terraces, and Hindu temples. August falls during Bali’s dry season, bringing mostly sunny days excellent for beach going, swimming, and outdoor activities. Top spots include surfing at Kuta Beach, scuba diving at Amed, and admiring sea temples at Uluwatu.
Kyoto dazzles with over 2,000 temples and shrines set amidst peaceful gardens and forests. In August, celebrations for Obon offer a chance to witness dancing, lanterns, and other festivities to honor ancestors. Top sites include Fushimi Inari shrine and Kinkakuji golden zen temple.
Singapore brings a cosmopolitan vibe, fantastic food scene, and cultural sights from Chinese temples to Little India. Outdoor nature areas like Gardens by the Bay provide an escape from the tropical heat. Don’t miss the island city-state’s August National Day celebrations.
Best Places to Visit in August in South America
Machu Picchu, Peru
Peru brings history and culture in magnificent settings like Machu Picchu, the sacred Incan citadel dramatically situated amongst Andean peaks. Hike the famous Inca Trail or take the train to explore this bucket list site. Cooler, drier weather in August provides ideal conditions.
Iguazu Falls, Argentina & Brazil
Discover one of the world’s most impressive waterfalls systems located amidst subtropical jungle on the Argentina and Brazil border. Hear the deafening roar and spot rainbows in the mist at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. August brings less rain for ideal waterfall viewing.
Explore Ecuador’s history and culture in atmospheric colonial Quito set high in the Andes Mountains. Visit Spanish churches, stroll the cobblestones of the historic center, shop colorfully woven textiles. Nearby day trips can take you to Otavalo’s famous indigenous market or into the cloud forests.
Best Places to Visit in August in Australia & New Zealand
Soak up Sydney’s spectacular harbor setting in August, which brings dry sunny days perfect for enjoying its famous beaches and attractions like the iconic Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens. Indulge in stellar dining and shopping, then escape the urban buzz on nearby beach getaways.
Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown on New Zealand’s South Island provides prime skiing and snowboarding once its winter season kicks into high gear in August. Find slopes to suit all levels across four ski fields. Or enjoy other snow activities like sledding, snowshoeing or soaking in hot pools.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Scuba diving and snorkeling conditions are at their best in August on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef due to minimal rains and winds. Explore this natural wonder up close, floating weightlessly amongst vibrant corals, sea turtles, reef sharks and thousands of fish species.
Best Places to Visit in August in the USA & Canada
Hawaii Big Island
Hawaii brings quintessential beach weather in August with minimal rain, warm tropical temperatures and calm winds. The Big Island stands out with its diversity, from exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s lava landscapes to admiring scenic beaches like Hapuna Beach.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Grand Teton National Park showcases dramatic jagged peaks, alpine lakes and abundant wildlife against the backdrop of the Rockies. Enjoy scenic drives, hiking trails, and boating on Jackson Lake. Spot bears, moose and elk grazing in open meadows. The weather is ideal in August before the busy crowds arrive after Labor Day.
Glacier National Park, Montana
With over 700 miles of hiking trails, Glacier National Park shines in August with most snow melted for spectacular alpine scenery and wildlife spotting. Don’t miss Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Montana Dude Ranches
Experience the Old West on a dude ranch vacation with horseback riding, cowboy cookouts, hiking and fishing against the stunning backdrop of the Rockies.
Nantucket brings island charm with its cobblestoned historic district, iconic lighthouses and more than 80 miles of pristine beaches.
Oregon & Washington Coast
The Pacific Northwest offers cooler weather perfect for exploring scenic coastal towns like Cannon Beach, Oregon and Olympic National Park in Washington.
Lake Tahoe, CA/NV
Enjoy summer activities like boating, hiking and mountain biking with average highs around 75°F in this scenic Sierra Nevada lake destination.
Door County, Wisconsin
This Midwestern peninsula offers charming towns, 300 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, and ideal August weather for boating, biking, and enjoying nature.
Desolation Wilderness, California
Escape into the pristine alpine lakes and granite peaks easily accessible from Lake Tahoe. Over 60 lakes await within this national forest backcountry.
British Columbia, Canada
British Columbia shines in August with sun-filled days perfect for exploring the incredible natural landscapes of the Pacific Coast province. Top spots include:
- Vancouver – A cosmopolitan, yet laidback vibe surrounded by beaches, forests and mountains. Wander colorful neighborhoods and sample the diverse food scene. Vancouver brings a laidback, cosmopolitan vibe surrounded by natural beauty. Hike, bike or enjoy views of the ocean and mountains on summery days. Wander colorful neighborhoods like Gastown and Granville Island Public Market for dining, shopping and entertainment.
- Vancouver Island – Discover the surf town of Tofino with its wild Pacific coastline. Or enjoy farm-to-table cuisine, wine tasting and outdoor activities in Saanich’s countryside.
- Okanagan Valley – Boating, wine tasting, farm fresh dining and outdoor concerts all beckon in this inland desert oasis centered around Okanagan Lake.
Where to Avoid Crowds in August
Some popular destinations in Europe and North America become extremely crowded in August. Here are some tips to avoid peak crowds:
- Head to European cities like Lisbon, Portugal or Edinburgh, Scotland which have fewer tourists in August than places like Paris or London.
- Try Europe’s shoulder season. Places like Greece, Spain and Italy are less crowded by late August but still have excellent weather.
- Escape crowded national parks in the U.S. West by heading to Midwestern parks like Isle Royale National Park in Michigan.
- Island destinations in the Caribbean and Mediterranean are packed in August. Try alternatives like the Azores or Canary Islands which are more off the beaten path.
- Avoid school holiday times in the UK in mid-August when families flock to popular resort towns.
- For cooler weather, head to South America to explore Patagonia’s national parks or ski in the Andes.
Where is the Cheapest Place to Visit in August?
- Thailand – Great value lodging, dining and attractions make Thailand a budget traveler’s paradise.
- Poland – Poland offers European charm at a fraction of the cost of Western Europe. Explore medieval old towns and historic sites.
- Mexico – The favorable exchange rate stretches your budget at beach destinations like Oaxaca, Tulum, and Riviera Maya.
- Colombia – Inexpensive ways to enjoy culture and natural beauty from colonial Cartagena to the Amazon rainforest.
Some tips for saving money:
- Use budget airlines for short-haul flights or look for deals flying midweek.
- Book affordable accommodation like B&Bs, hostels, vacation rentals or hotel deals.
- Take overnight buses or trains for long distance travel around Europe.
- Choose free activities like museums on donation-only entry days, hiking, and walking tours.
- Eat your main meal at lunch when restaurant prices are lower.
- Buy groceries, eat street food or try fixed-price lunch menus for deals on dining.
- Avoid excess luggage fees by packing light in carry-on only.
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August delivers prime weather across the Northern Hemisphere making it an extremely popular month for everything from beach vacations to outdoor adventures. Savvy travelers can beat the crowds by heading to shoulder season destinations in Europe, cooler mountainous regions, or by heading south for winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Those looking for deals in August will find them at under-the-radar or budget-friendly destinations worldwide. With proper planning, August offers tremendous choice for an unforgettable getaway tailored to your interests and budget.